The Coach of the Year honor went to Madison's Kevin Lynott. The Dodgers had a banner season, their best in more than two decades. Madison earned Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference-Independence Division and North Jersey Section 2, Group II sectional championships in 2011. It was the first time since 1987 that Madison had captured a sectional state title.
Close to 100 soccer players from Morris County teams, as well as parents and coaches, attended the banquet which celebrates the end of the scholastic soccer season.
Zimmerman's story is one of determination. She missed her sophomore year due to a concussion she suffered during a club tournament game and rebounded to have brilliant junior and senior seasons. Despite her success, Zimmerman is not someone who cares to talk about herself very much. Personal accolades seem unnecessary to her.
"She is just such a great kid,'' Lynott said. "No matter what she does in life, she's going to be successful because that's the kind of person she is. It's not about her. She is a team player first and foremost. She gets along so well with the girls. There are no airs or graces. She will carry the soccer balls. She does what needs to be done. It's just very humbling.''
Zimmerman was pleased that her coach was named Coach of the Year. Lynott has worked for the last seven years to help build up the Madison program which had struggled before his hire.
"We're all pretty shocked,'' said Zimmerman with a laugh. "We're extremely happy for him. It's an honor for us to be coached by him. He deserves it after this past season. He really pushed us to be our best.''
Madison (15-5-2) played well on both offense and defense. The Dodgers registered 15 shutouts in 22 games and senior defender Rebecca Levin also earned first team honors. Zimmerman took care of the offense. She scored 22 goals and registered 14 assists helping the Dodgers improve their chances for success. The Madison coach was humbled by the honor and gave full credit to the Dodgers players.
"When you get recognized by your peers, I think it's a big honor,'' Lynott said. "In Madison, we kind of float under the radar a little bit. It's about the players. The players make you look good. As a coach, you hope that your players buy into your philosophy and that they work with you to achieve the goals. I had talented players and we did that. It's nice to be recognized for it.''
The season-ending event is a good way to celebrate the success of Morris County girls soccer teams. Madison and West Morris earned state sectional titles. Randolph was the Morris County Tournament champion. Mount Olive (American) and Mendham (National) also earned NJAC division titles. Kinnelon and Villa Walsh Academy shared the Liberty Division championship.
It was also a good way for some of the seniors to transition to playing in college next year. First-team selections Morris Knolls' Kristen DeRiggi (American), Mendham's Faith Sugerman (USC) and Zimmerman (Providence) are going to be continuing their careers on the Division 1 level.
"It's good,'' Zimmerman said. "Everyone is dressed up and sitting together with their teams. It's a good way to end the season.''
Morris County Girls Soccer Coaches Association
Sr. F Anna Conklin – Randolph
Sr. F Emma Coccia – Morris Knolls
Jr. F Lina Proska – Chatham
Jr. F Victoria Portesy – Mount Olive
Sr. F Tiffany Kelly – Parsippany
Sr. M Jamie Hofstetter – Mendham
Sr. M Tyler Lusardi – Randolph
Sr. M Catherine Zimmerman – Madison
Sr. M Kristen DeRiggi – Morris Knolls
Jr. M Tara Soberajski – Morris Catholic
Sr. D Rachel Levin – Madison
Sr. D Kayla Coutts – Morris Knolls
Sr. D Amanda Berntsen – Chatham
Sr. D Kate Moyer – Villa Walsh
Sr. D Aine Schanche – Kinnelon
Sr. G Faith Sugerman – Mendham
So. G Mel Durbin – Randolph
Sr. F Julia Esposito – Villa Walsh
Sr. F Chalen Noble – Kinnelon
Sr. F Ingrid DiClemente – Kinnelon
Fr. F Gianna Bustamante – Morristown-Beard
Fr. F Paige Monaghan – Roxbury
Sr. M Jamie Bertoli – Morris Hills
Sr. M Britt Carmo – Parsippany Hills
Sr. M Maggie Higgins – Chatham
Sr. M Carly Horan – Mendham
So. M Britt Casola – Roxbury
Sr. D Tina Nassany – Morris Catholic
Sr. D Alana Ketzler – Mendham
So. D Maggie Hagen - Roxbury
Jr. D Julie Shields – West Morris
So. D Sam Brener – Randolph
Jr. G Morgan Maltby – Chatham
So. G Danielle Beniulis – Jefferson
So. F Alex Young – Mendham
Sr. F Giana Vitolo – Morris Knolls
Jr. F Tyler Madison – Parsippany Hills
Jr. F Emily Thomas – West Morris
So. F Melissa Kelly – Parsippany
Jr. M Kayla Aragon – Dover
Sr. M Kelly Kavanaugh - West Morris
So. M Carli DeNegris – Montville
Jr. M Paige Russell – Mendham
Jr. M Mae Noonan – Parsippany
Jr. M Danielle deTorres – Kinnelon
Jr. D Juliana Strelec – Villa Walsh
Sr. D Megan Olsakosky – Randolph
Sr. D Christina LoConte – Hanover Park
Jr. D Elena Wolfe – Parsippany
Sr. D Siobhan McCulloch – Madison
Fr. G Tori Gonzalez – Morristown-Beard
Sr. G Nicole Schmitt - Kinnelon
Sr. G Meg Calcaterra - Madison